INSIGHT: Amazon, Apple, Facebook or Google - who will win?

What is going to happen in the digital landscape and who will win?

Here, Scott Calloway spends 15 minutes talking at a break-neck pace, sharing his insights and predictions on the rise and fall of four massive brands; Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google.

Galloway is a Clinical Professor of Marketing at NYU Stern School of Business.

There they built an algorithm in 2010 that uses 850 data points spanning digital, marketing, social and mobile - across 11 geographies and 1,227 brands.

Based on this data, Galloway predicts what is going to happen in the digital landscape.

Key takeaways…


“Pure-play retail is going away - e-commerce companies are going to open stores or go out of business.

Retailers need to be excellent at digital or they will go out of business. Even Amazon cannot survive as a pure play retailer.”

Based on his disclaimer at the start about "dead" not being really dead, possibly a gradual decline of a giant, this could be right.

Sure, sometimes I want to purchase online - but sometimes I want to touch and feel what I'm buying, or just pick it up urgently. If local retailers invest in digital and offer a complete multi-channel experience, I'd be tempted to turn to them before Amazon.

Added to this are his comments about what Amazon have done by forcing free shipping into the market, the impact of their rising shipping costs and lack of stores - which he calls "incredibly flexible, robust warehouses".

The "bricks and clicks" concept definitely has legs; more effective use of stores as distribution hubs as well as showrooms. That's a great re-use of existing assets and can only enhance the customer experience.

I think he might be missing the breadth of services that Amazon have built; but in retail alone it looks like they need to include physical stores to effectively compete in the future - even as soon as this year. I wonder if they will open one as far from home as New Zealand?

One final point; I think the idea of an Uber-like delivery service is unlikely. I think of drones and self-drive vehicles as a more likely future scenario; which could change the delivery costs significantly and spawn a whole new set of predictions.


”People are constantly talking about young people not liking Facebook - that is total hogwash.

Facebook continues to pull away in power; social media has become Facebook and the seven dwarves. Two thirds of all time on social media is spent on Facebook.”

This to me makes sense. While many other social media apps like Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter and Snapchat are very popular with young people I know, they are quite transient in nature.

Facebook offers an online record of your digital life, as well as convenient features like event bookings, private groups and the messenger app.

The transient social media services are more easily adopted - but also easier to leave, because you don't build up the same level of history. I don't think there's room for too many online digital record services, so Facebook has a difficult position to disrupt.

However, Facebook does need to continue to invest in new apps and services to stay relevant. If preferences do change en-masse, they could become the next AOL.

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